We have all met someone in life who has a sense of style. Their appearance, is in harmony with their body shape, height and natural colouring, as well as personality and character. They are fluent in the language of dressing and look good whatever the budget!
But why does getting dressed seem so easy for some, and a daily chore for others. And does it even matter?
The clothes you wear, do not define you as a person, but they are a reflection of your attitude and how you feel about yourself.
When it comes to non-verbal communication, clothing is responsible for the majority of our first impressions. It displays our economic status, social circle, level of sophistication, morality and mood.
Social media, TV and advertisting bombard us with thousands of images of what we should look like, and not what the majority of us do. Women are predisposed to feeling more inadequate and tend to underestimate their attractiveness. If you lack in confidence and self-esteem, these images only reinforce poor body confidence.
Experiences such as divorce, illness or bereavement can leave us on the back foot with a lack of the feel-good factor we once had. And a busy family life leaves little me time.
If you look good, you feel good. Who doesn’t want to feel more confident, happy and youthful!
Many women dress older than they are or wear clothes larger than their actual size. Trying to disguise any perceived flaws often highlights them more. We stop wearing things that don’t make us feel good, without knowing why. Trust your instinct and learn to like what you see in the mirror.
Colour is an instant way to make yourself feel and look better.
The right colours can give a youthful glow while the wrong colours can be ageing.
We are all born with either a cool (blue) undertone or a warm (yellow) undertone to our skin. Knowing this will establish the best colours to wear next to your face or the body as a whole.
Cool skin tones can wear blue, red, green and berry shades while warm skin tones can wear burnt orange, rose, blues and golden shades.
Hiring a professional style coach allows for an unbiased viewpoint. It eliminates emotion and other expectations that may arise in the hands of well meaning friends or relatives. Being friendly and non-judgemental also play a big part in building a relationship of trust.
The job of a style coach is to help steer you away from old, repeated negative responses and replace them with a new focus.
The focus on finding the best styles for your body shape, colours that flatter your natural colouring and give you a youthful glow, aswell as tricks and accessories to highlight your best features.
Almost everyone I work with say ‘I wish I had done this earlier’ Next time you open your wardrobe, get dressed or go shopping, think about the value you place on yourself and how it reflects the best of you from the inside, out.
Tips to finding your style
• Create a vision board on Pinterest and find styles you’d like to try out
• Consider your best assets and find ways to highlight them
• If something looks, fits and feels good. Ignore the dress size.
• Choose a monochrome colour pallette to give a streamlined look.
• Use bold prints and accessories to confuse the eye over a larger frame
• Walk tall and sit straight- It makes clothes look better, and creates presence and poise!
Tel +44 (0) 79890 77603
Wearing the right colours for your skin hair and eyes can enhance your natural colouring and bring your features alive as well as visually reducing blemishes, clean up the complexion and give you a more youthful appearance and who doesn’t want a bit of that!
Wearingcolours that don’t work for you can create an appearance and complexion that is ageing or hard. It could be said that wearing the wrong colours can mis-represent who you are, even how you feel.
How To Establish Your Skin Tone-
We are all born with either a BLUE (cool) undertone in our skin or a more YELLOW (warm) undertone and it is from this that we can establish the most flattering colours to wear, next to the face or as a complete look
Take the test- Take a look at the inside of your wrist or forearm to see if the skin has a blue tint (indicating a cool undertone) to it or a yellow-green (indicating a warm undertone)
Or this- 1. Take off any traces of makeup and look into the natural daylight with a hand-held mirror
2. Wear a white shirt or hold a piece of white paper to your face.
3. If your skin tone in contrast to the white looks YELLOW or a warm golden, then you have WARM undertones to your skin which means you will look best wearing warmer colours.
4. If your face looks BLUE to pinkish, your skin tone is COOL which means you will look best wearing cooler colours
5. If your skin is a mix of blue and green you have a NEUTRAL skin tone which means you can wear a mixture of both warm and cool colours!
6.You can also do the same with GOLD or SILVER fabric. Gold being great for warm skin tones and Silver for cool.
YOUR HAIR coloring will be- coppery brown, dark brown, chestnut or dark golden blond, red, dark or light auburn.
Your eyes will be- hazel, pale green or blue.
Your complexion will be- golden brown, yellow beige, peach or ivory. you may have freckles & tan easily
WARM colour suggestions- Bronze, burnt orange, red, yellows, rose, brown, blues and golden shades.
Your hair coloring will be-black, dark brown, brunette, ash blonde silver grey or white
Your eyes will be- dark brown, green, hazel or dark blue
Your complexion will be- black, olive, fair, rosy or pale and your skin often burns in the sun
COOL colour suggestions- Purples, red, dark green, plum, ruby, royal blue, teal, black, aubergine
Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you?
From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…
Against gendered expectations
The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?
Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.
There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.
Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.
For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash
By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.
Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.
Against the dress code
In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.
Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.
Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.
In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.
In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!
As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead.
UN-LOCK THE SECRETS TO A NEW YOU TODAY WITH RACHEL,YOUR PERSONAL STYLE COACH!
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This is an annual re-post which I have done for the last six years. Here are four reasons why.
Firstly, I have always been in love with this dress and will never tire of its extraordinary ability to flatter every single body type, shape, age and size. Secondly, it holds a special place in my heart since I got married in a Dirndl to my Bavarian husband seven years ago. Thirdly, I spent a decent amount of time researching and delving into its fascinating history, and feel it worthy of a good airing and finally, it is an introduction for anyone who is new to this dress and would love to know more!
At the end, there is a useful guide on how to pick the right Dirndl with tricks and tips on getting the best fit and finding your most flattering colour.
Dirndl and Lederhosen or Tracht
If the dirndl could get herself a plaque on the Hollywood hall of fame, I would press her bodice into the clay and make her famous, just for me!
This is a dedication to the Dirndl, a dress with a legacy going back 140 years. Having stood the test of time, the Dirndl is worn today by thousands of women across Bavaria, Austria, the Alps and beyond and has become a multi-million dollar industry.
Dirndl, a term for “young girl” and the name given to the dress, originated as a simplified form of a servant’s or maid’s dress and was made of plain colours or simple check, denoting regional and social background. Back then, the dirndl was coloured using vegetable dyes, giving it a much softer look than the colours we see today, which are richer and brighter. The dirndl was adopted by the upper echelons of society in the late 1800s, when it was fashionable to emulate the simple life of the peasants, and they were made in expensive, embroidered fabrics of velvet, silk, satin and fine cottons.
The two basic styles of the dress are Trachtendirndl, which consists of a blouse, tailored bodice, a full skirt and an apron and the Landhausmode (country house style), which is a dirndl-like dress and skirt that is more informal. You can still see women wearing this “softer” version, the landhausmode, on a daily basis.
The dirndl is still worn by many women for traditional and cultural events and at weddings, to show their regional pride. Lets face it, when you have an outfit that is so flattering, there won’t be many cries of “I’ve got nothing to wear!” The dirndl has a pride and pertinence to it lacking in the expensive and “samey” fashion labels on the market.
Our wedding day in England. September 2010
Where to see it
This years Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade in Munich is on the 17th September. It is still one of the best places to see every region of Bavaria’s Tracht, which are displayed throughout the festivities in spectacular style. Get there early to see the many variations and styles of these exquisitely embroidered dresses, bodices and aprons—often accessorized with hats, feathers, bust adorning roses, brightly coloured silk shawls, handcrafted jewellery, medallions and beads for the neck and waist.
The exquisite attention to detail in the costumes discloses regional, social and historic status. Farmers would often show their wealth by displaying it on their wives’ dirndl, and it was common for a woman to show her dowry in the same way.
My wedding Dirndl decorated with Edelweiss
Holz vor der Hütte
But what makes the dirndl so fine for our Frauleins? The secret, my friends, lies in the bodice. The upper part of the body being the main focal point of this dress and really the whole purpose! It’s cheeky I know, but Holz vor der Hütte literally means: a stack of wood in front of the hut. Thus, the Dirndl creates a natural platform for adornment and enhancement of this area. So get this part of the dress right and the rest will follow!
The dirndl is also in my hall of fame because it fits all shapes, sizes, heights and statures, ticking all the boxes for fit and flattery. It is the ultimate IT dress. If you are not blessed with a bountiful bosom, the dirndl will give you some Holz Vor der Hütte and if you are blessed, then be prepared for admirers who just can’t help themselves.
Underneath the bodice is a cotton blouse, cut just under the bust to avoid any excess material, cleverly veiling any excess flesh, perfect for older ladies who want to cover their upper arms. The blouses come in plain cotton for a few euros or several hundred for exotic versions in organza, linen, lace and crystal embroidery. The hochzeit or wedding Tracht really are something else!
Invites from our Bavarian/English wedding. Hand-cut paper by Alexandra Lukaschewitz
If you don’t have a Tracht (traditional costume) then it is high time you got one, after all millions of other non-natives don the costume every year and it is a great way of feeling part of the festival and getting acquainted with beer and pretzel in traditional dress!
Below are some tips for buying a dirndl. Even though some may seem obvious, you want to be happy with your choice. Despite the myths out there—Newsflash! —there are some women who actually don’t like shopping! It can be a minefield with many choices and little help and is not always as enjoyable as it should be. This should eliminate the complexity a bit, making it easier and more fun.
Tips on buying a dirndl
#1 Make sure the bodice fits you. Look for the same size as a fitted top you already own when trying it on. The bodice is the only part that needs to fit you well.
#2 When trying on your dirndl, always try on the blouse that goes underneath, even if it is not the one you want to get, and lace the bodice up. This will give you a true fit. It should be snug but not tight; you need room for dancing and saying, “Prost!”
#3 You can wear any length you want, but here’s a guide: There is mini, midi or full length. If you are a teenager, you can get away with wearing the mini dirndl. If you are older, wear the mid-length or the traditional long length. Either way, no one will be looking at your legs!
#4 There are many good second hand shops around, and with time, you can mix and match your own Dirndl by choosing from a huge selection of dresses, blouses and aprons. You can pick up a complete outfit for €100. Scores of Oktoberfest revellers return their dirndls to second-hand stores after the party is over, so there are plenty of bargains to be had.
#5 Here is a color guide to help you get the most out of your dirndl. It will help bring out the best in your natural coloring and features. Then just wait to collect the “oohs and ahhs” from friends and colleagues!
• If you are a redhead – Look for bronze and golden shades, burnt orange and reds.
• If you are blonde – Look for yellows, rose and brown, blues and golden shades.
• If you are brunette – Look for purples, reds, dark green, black and plum shades.
• If you have black hair – Look for black, purple, charcoal and royal blue.
• If you have grey hair – Look for cool (blue based) colors, preferably with some contrast, also grey, dark navy, teal and spruce, and keep makeup light and subtle.
#6 How you tie the apron bow on the dirndl indicates your marital status:
• If you are engaged or married – tie it on the right side.
• If you are young, free and single – tie it on the left side.
• If you are widowed – tie it at the back.
Have fun and enjoy wearing your dirndl. If you are one of those with the apron bow tied to the left, then get ready to take on your suitors!
For shops: Google ”Dirndl” and you will find dozens of shops across Germany and the world selling Tracht
Like a chef, I can’t imagine doing my work without a few key ingredients to hand.
For example, a successful colour analysis can’t be achieved without having a set of specially dyed fabrics. These tools, along with a keen eye and sense for the qualities in a person’s skin, eye and hair colour provide results that not only update an image, but can boost self confidence and esteem in both private life and in the work place.
To carry out a colour analysis or indeed any other image session, it is impossible to work without the key ingredient of them all. People.
Or is it?
Personally, the thought of working remotely even with today’s fast moving technology seems counter productive to what I do.
I love the privilege of working closely with people to create a result that very often, they say they wish they’d done years ago!
When it comes down to personal image, nothing is more personal, than actually talking about it.
With every new style session, an initial consultation is carried out to create a personally tailored map. Questions range from favourite colours and style challenges to discussing body shape. The information gathered is key to a successful outcome but should be handled with sensitivity and care.
Without exception, these questions can trigger various emotions and responses whether conciously, or not. Reactions can include anything from subtle eye movement to physical shifts in body language and changes in skin colour.
Without seeing someone in the flesh, It would be easy to miss out vital clues on how they are feeling as they are taken through the various stages of a personal image makeover to its final conclusion.
The thought then of conducting a style session over the phone and via Skype was the last thing on my mind, when I got an email to ask for just that.
Here I take up the challenge to see how it works!
*Freya is a primary school teacher in her mid-thirties and is returning to teaching after looking after two young children. She needs an updated wardrobe to go with her new post.
Freya suffers from a condition known as hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and colours up easily around the neckline and facial area, so it was vital that her clothing is comfortable and not restrictive. This meant as much natural fibre as possible as well as carefully selected styles that were away away from problem areas like the neckline and underarm area.
Choosing the right styles would not only help Freya to look cool, but help her feel cool and also disguise the process happening in the first place.
Freya needed more choice in tops and blouses. Experience in on-line shopping meant she spent more time returning clothes than keeping them.
She needed clothing that was easy to move around in whilst working with groups of active young children.
She wanted her style to be casual, without trying too hard and a look that reflected her age.
With each phone session I created a list of the items she was looking for to fit around her budget, size, fabric and colour etc. This would include an image of the clothing, the brand, size and the best online site selling the item. All she had to do was order them and try them on!
I also created a fashion/mood board to give Freya a visual picture of what her new wardrobe would look like and sent her a colour booklet so she could go shopping and match up her best colours.
Conducting the style sessions over the phone, allowed me to concentrate on every detail of Freya’s goals without distraction. As well as listening, I was able to do considerable note taking. Great for in filling in any gaps. (this could be perceived as rude with someone in front of me)
Dealing with personal issues was easier than I thought, and Freya felt comfortable and confident enough to tell me everything that was necessary to establish a clear working trust between us. Again, I think the phone session helped, and acted as a ‘safety barrier’
I enjoyed the on-line session and I can say it works and offers a good substitute especially if you live too far from the city, decent shops or you don’t have time to shop. However, it won’t ever replace being present and working through often personal stages of an image consultation (which can be a lot of fun working together!) this to me results in a more valuable and without doubt, a far more personal service.
Testimonial from Freya
I initially approached Rachel on recommendations from two friends who had been extremely happy with the services she had provided. Our initial consultation was via telephone and I felt immediately at ease talking to Rachel as she is so warm, friendly and has a genuine desire to help. After each conversation we had, Rachel provided a detailed summary of what we had discussed and she included links to recommended sites/products which she felt fitted my needs.Overall Rachel and I had several conversations either via telephone or Skype and she addressed each and every concern of mine with multiple suggestions and detailed responses.
The end result is that I have a colour palette which is tailored to me and I have a new confidence in myself and the way I look leaving me feeling ready to start work again!
Take a look at an excerpt of actor John Pirkis’s blog: Diary of a Failed actor- John highlights how his experience with me on a style and personal shopping trip gives him confidence and direction in both his personal and working life.
Do you want to see how a shopping trip can make you feel on top of the world?
Get in touch for a consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
When people ask me what I do for a living, I try to sum it up as concisely as possible. From the What image would you like to project conversation to the full menu. Wardrobe Planning, Colour Analysis Makeup and Personal Shopping From the menu, It is the personal shopping that still leaves people the most puzzled. To clear things up, this newsletter will come in two parts: The guide to personal shopping and the guide to wardrobe planning.
Being a style coach is about listening and building trust. It is creating an arena that is comfortable, inspiring and motivating. The results are a personal style that is relevant, authentic and highly successful in a social and professional context.
I would like to thank two people who have inspired me to create this newsletter (and whose testimonials you can read at the end)
KAREN Travels between Munich and New York with her career as an opera singer. She came to me looking for more colour and to move away from her NewYork black. Being a few inches shorter than the average German woman, Karen wanted to find a European chic and for things to fit her height and shape. Read how her shopping trip went below.
JOHNA long time friend and actor, continues to reap the benefits from his wardrobe, colour analysis and personal shopping sessions. Being colour blind, we had to build a strong wardrobe in identifiable colours, tones and styles to help him secure acting roles.The investment continues to pay off and allows him to feel on top of his game. Read more about his experience below.
PERSONAL SHOPPING IS FOR EVERYONE ELSE!
Having spoken to various groups of people over the years, I have come to realise that although many have heard of personal shopping, they think it’s not something for them but rather for everyone else. It can seem intimidating or out of reach. It’s what rich people do or bored hollywood housewives, right?
The people who use a personal shopper, use one from all kinds of reasons, backgrounds, cultures, ages, shapes, sizes and budgets. (and no, not just actors and opera singers!)
It is why talking to people, and creating workshops are important. They help bring the subject closer to the audience, making it more attainable and less intimidating.
You dont need money to look good, but you do need to know how to use the right tricks and techniques that apply to you and everything that is unique about you.
WHO USES A PERSONAL SHOPPER?
Take for example business professionals. They need to project an image that matches their role and responsibility in the company they represent. How they look and what they say should be unequivocal and create an impact before a word is even spoken. When it comes to climbing the career ladder, details matter and people do notice.
Actors need to create a strong first impression. New York based John Pirkis has often seconds to gain the confidence of potential investors when he goes up for a new role. Dressing the part requires attention to detail.The suit John wears is from one of our shopping trips and continues to earn him praise in castings. His blog: ‘Diary of a Failed Actor’ describes perfectly the highs and lows of his profession.
SOCIAL-There are social reasons. Someone may have lost their confidence (and their way) from a separation or divorce.They want to bring back some of the style they once had and start dating again. A session with a style coach can help them find a more relevant image while giving them the confidence and motivation to make a fresh start.
FAMILY-There are those who have raised a family and are looking to return to work or start a new career. This means bringing an image up to date and in line with other job applicants and is also an opportunity to turn a new page. Personal shoppers are booked for birthdays, anniversaries and as leaving presents and gift vouchers are a popular choice.
COPY CAT- It is no good copying a look in a magazine if it doesn’t translate to your body shape or the person you are. We all know that models don’t represent the majority of womens’ body shapes (or mens for that matter) but copying them can take out the hard work for us.
It takes time to develop a style and find something that you are comfortable with. Being in a neutral, non-judgemental position allows me to speed up the process!
ON THE STREET- Surveys say that women dominate 65% of the global market. When it comes to retail shopping, It is evident there are still huge gaps in the market. Often I see women (and men) walking around stores in an effort and a daze trying to find something to wear. Help is either minimal or intrusive and not much in between.They exit the store minutes later, only to repeat the process somewhere else.
The experience is nil and the frustration is high.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO SHOPPING
MEETING UP- To begin with there is an informal but focused consultation to discuss specific desires and goals. Meeting in person works two ways. It allows me to get a clear idea of bodyshape, height and natural colouring, aswell as the persons character and personality. It also helps build a level of trust and establish a friendly working relationship.
LOOK BOOK- Having a photograph to work with beforehand, allows me to prepare a few images I think are suitable (like a look-book) for the person I am working with. This helps establish a focus for ideas and drums up excitement. Together we discuss style, shape, colour, fabric, accessories and anything else that is important
RESEARCH-Before a shopping trip, research has to be carried out. This is an important aspect for a successful shop and the focus of everything I know about that person so far. From where to find the right length pair of pants, skirt, dress, jacket, collar type, material, tailoring, colour, pattern, accessories and so on. This also applies to skin care and makeup
SHOPPING DATE-The big date has arrived and what we’ve been waiting for! When trying on clothes, I advise people to come wearing (easy to get in and out of) clothing. To bring heels if trying on dresses and business shoes if trying on suits. Clothes that are hampered with buckles and buttons will only slow down the process!
SUCCESS- Of the clothes I select, 99% of them are bought and successfully integrated into the wardrobe. The selected items not only double the outfit choices but work with existing pieces and new alike. Guided shopping can seriously breaks old habits because they are intensive one-to-one style workouts and a time of real focus. Many people report that they not only save money on future trips but are able to shop in half their normal time.
SELF AWARENESS- Finally, these sessions are a reminder that is important to highlight the best of ourselves for ourselves. Unique aspects that over time have been forgotten or buried under the layers of life.They are about bringing those positive aspects to the surface by recognising what we have got, not what we haven’t. Knowing how to reflect these qualities increases confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness and is always an inspiration to others.
See what Karen and John had to say!
Rachel is fantastic – she is smart, talented, genuinely positive and amazingly tactful. I am a typical New York “everything in black” girl, and also a good 6 inches shorter than the average German woman.The lovely european chic-casual style has been a mystery to me since I moved here. I had pretty much given up on ever finding clothes in Germany when I went to Rachel for help
She has a brilliant eye for colour and form, and after our initial consultation, even before we went shopping, she had me thinking differently about how to dress and what to put together.She has the patience of a saint – I had extremely vague answers to her questions about my personal style, since “black” has been my answer to everything for years.The shopping experience was amazing.
I generally give up after one hour, but two and a half hours with Rachel passed in the blink of an eye.Not only did I end up with some beautiful clothes in lovely colours, but we also got some fantastic things in black that actually fit me.
Rachel very tactfully explained to me how to mix and match to achieve the look I wanted, and much to my delight, I can apply her advice to both my old and my new clothes.My “What Not To Wear” moments have dramatically decreased and miraculously, my mother, my husband, and my garment-district friends all love my new clothes!If you want assistance, advice or even just a ray of sunshine in your wardrobe, I highly recommend consulting Rachel for any and all of your fashion needs.
Rachel, I cannot thank you enough for the extraordinary results you have achieved for me! Not only restyling my wardrobe, but also taking the dread I had of shopping for clothes. Being colour blind just added to my problem.
Your patience, calm energy and passion for the task in hand made the event and effortless joy and education.
I feel confident to venture out on a shopping trip of my own and even look forward to it.
Thank you again.
‘‘People will stare. Make it worth their while” Harry Winston
There is no getting away from it. My work is personal. In order to get to the heart of someones style, I have to get to the heart of their wardrobe. This means sifting through items that no longer measure up. (literally) ultimately clothes that stay, should fit into two categories. They should Fit and they should Feel Good (lets call it FFG!)
COLOURS- should compliment the natural tones of skin, eyes and hair and styles should match body shape, frame and personality.
DRESS UP-Many people dress older or younger than they really are, or in clothes that are larger or smaller than their true size.
REASONS-Over time, we can lose sight of ourselves. Styles we once looked good in, no longer fit and the colours we used to love, no longer make us feel or look as good. There are clothes handed down by well meaning friends or relatives which don’t fit (they don’t have the FFG!) and why in the end, they get discarded.
They were bought with someone else in mind. certainly not for you and not for your body shape or character. Whether you are selecting your own clothes or given them, try them on first. If they don’t have the FFG factor then please don’t feel obliged to take them or buy them!
SHOPPING-With relatives can prove tricky. In the heat of the moment, outfits are bought that you wouldn’t otherwise see yourself in but you oblige (because they bought something too) It’s not something you would have chosen, and most likely will be worn once.Well meaning relatives can play dress up in things they think you will look good in.This also comes with obvious problems. Then there are just plain old habits of buying the same styles in the same colours like, forever!
GRACEFULLY AGEING- Take my mum for example. She used to apply the Mary Quant style eye makeup that was standard in the 70’s. She even painted in her lower lashes. She looked amazing. By the 80’s though she adopted different methods in both makeup and dress. This didn’t diminish from her style but only increased it. With each decade she made small changes that bought her up to date.These changes were subtle but transformative. Now in her early 70’s she is as stylish (and as beautiful) as ever.
It is so important to try things on and see why they don’t work on a particular body shape and to get into the habit of looking in the mirror!
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO WARDROBE PLANNING
Firstly, an informal consultation is arranged to establish specific desires, goals and problem areas. Whether you want to create a formal business look, a change of style or to add a few key pieces. An appointment is made to visit your home and your wardrobe!
Clothes are tried on to establish what should stay and what should go. This is based on Items that no longer fit the body shape, personality or lifestyle, aswell as colours that no longer flatter the natural colouring of hair, skin and eyes and finally clothes that are old and worn out. Where there are any gaps, a shopping list is made of the necessary items to complete the wardrobe.
Once the wardrobe is de-cluttered and organised, the next step is to mix and recycle the remaining clothes back in. Planning a wardrobe is not about spending money on new clothes but knowing how to breathe new life back into what you already have. Mixing suit jackets with jeans, and skirts with vintage tops and jackets. Utilising hats, belts, scarves and other accessories to maximum effect.
By the end of a wardrobe session, you will have gained awareness for styles that fit your body shape and personality creating your unique look. You will find shopping and choosing individual pieces easier and faster and will have the confidence that the pieces you do pick will sit comfortably into your wardrobe. This is the true meaning of finding your style!
We often stop wearing things that dont make us feel good without knowing why-you already have the answer-Trust your instinct!
If you would like to see what a wardrobe session can do for you, please get in touch for an informal and friendly chat: email@example.com
Lia Edwards is a Munich based portrait photographer originally from the UK. She discovered her passion for photography in 2001 while living in Sydney Australia. Read more about Lia’s work here.
Luckily for the rest of us, Lia moved to Munich in 2011. We met shortly after at a creative group meet up. She showed me a copy of a beautiful retro style photo she had taken, and I was hooked.
Lia was the perfect choice for me to update my photos for a model agency in Munich and we have worked together on several occasions. (see photos below)
This year we created a further collaboration with our styling and photography packages. If you want the full works from makeup, wardrobe, styling and photography then talk to us for a consultation.
What makes a good photograph?
One of the most important things when you are being photographed, is to feel relaxed. We have approximately forty three muscles in our face and use the large majority of them when we laugh (even more when we frown) If you are tense, it will show in your face and body and no amount of editing will hide the fact.
Plan your photo shoot with your photographer around a day when you know you have time to get ready and have little stress as possible. Book baby sitters if you need to and think how you want to look and what you are going to wear.
Whether it is a romantic couple shoot, family gathering or head shots. Choose your clothes with care. If you are in a family portrait, think about a theme. Wearing bold colours on a dull day can create vibrant happy portraits (Lia will discuss this with you)
If they are portraits, your photos need to be something you are happy with looking at for a long time. If they are for business, an actor or model they need to get you noticed and working for you from the get go.
Even if you are experienced at having your photos taken, the first few frames of a shoot are usually a good warm-up exercise and an opportunity to get to know each other and break the ice.
As the session continues, you will feel less self-conscious. It will be these photos that you look at and share the most because they will reflect you at your most natural and relaxed.
Hair and Make-up
For natural photographs, it is best to stick to your usual hairstyle and not to try anything too radical. The same goes for makeup. If you don’t usually wear much make-up, its best to avoid hitting the makeup counter at the last minute for a look that you wouldn’t normally go for. The chances are, you will not be happy and the makeup (which is invariably applied under bad store lighting) will not transfer well to natural daylight or studio shots.
If you need help with how to apply makeup and want to discuss a LOOK that flatters your natural colouring and features contact me!
What makes a good photographer?
The job of a photographer is not always easy. communicator, director, stylist, (sometimes gymnast!) being able to encourage and coax and give a few concise orders in order to get the best shot and a happy customer.
Ultimately, their job is to bring out something special in your personality and character and find a way of capturing it. Good results are based on creating confidence, trust, communication and having fun working together in order to achieve the same goal.
Memorable photography is an alchemy of everything coming together. Photographer, subject, lighting, chance moments and a desire to be part of a creative process.
Lia knows how to do this, while her returning customers and word-of-mouth serve as testament.
Note: To achieve my quick change looks, I used: 1 black dress, grey skirt, red cardigan, white blouse, blue jacket, high heels, sunglasses & a magazine.
It was a great end to the month of July, working with Munich based portrait Photographer Lia Edwards on a styling and photographic session for a new client.
A few weeks before the shoot, Margareta checked in for a wardrobesession with me. As owner of MMH life coaching, Margareta wanted a more International look to reflect her business.
First off, we established anything outdated in Margareta’s wardrobe and got rid of things that no longer fit or were tired and worn. At the same time, I looked for the best cut and colours to complement her figure and natural colouring.
Next, we set a date for Personal Shopping. A list of key items was created in order to fill out any gaps in the wardrobe. Margareta had fun discovering selected pieces that added volume, as well as value to her existing wardrobe.
All that remained, was for hair and makeup and to get ready for the shoot!
As a model on clothing and photographic shoots I have first hand the experience on what is needed for getting the best results. In this work, the devil is (always) in the detail!
Having personally booked Lia for a photoshoot of my own, I was struck by the energy and quality of her work- It seemed a natural step for us to collaborate!
If you are looking to re-brand your business; update your website or simply for a fresh new look! Talk to us today and experience a professional but fun photo shoot with photos that everyone will be talking about!